Santon/LDC planning application for North St Lewes Phoenix Rising preliminary response

You may have noticed that the Santon/LDC planning application for the Phoenix Estate/North Street has now been submitted.

On first perusal, there are some superficial improvements in design, as demanded by the South Downs National Park (SDNPA), though we are perplexed by the demolition of the usable industrial buildings of the Phoenix Ironworks, merely to be replaced by pastiche signage on buildings such as ’Shed 2’.

We are glad to see that they have responded to the concerns regarding affordable housing, which has been bumped up to 40%, though the vast majority appears still to be at an inaffordable 80% of market rate.

We will be examining it in depth looking for:

  • A guaranteed provision of genuinely affordable homes
  • Social housing
  • Retention of some existing buildings as requested by the SDNPA
  • A genuinely mixed-use site, providing suitable and affordable space for light industry, manufacturing, creative and community enterprises and youth venues
  • A scheme that actively reduces the need for car use and enables residents to live and work in the same area
  • Adaptation potential for flooding and climate change
  • Innovative and sustainable build
  • Provision of work space for existing businesses during the development period
  • A vision worthy of the largest development EVER in a UK National Park

You can see the plans at Application no. SDNP/15/01146/FUL

Or, just type in SDNPA into your browser, enter North Street in the search box and follow the links.

Comments on Santon plan in Sussex Express

Lewes Phoenix Rising will be looking in detail at the Santon application. On first perusal, few of the concerns raised over the last few years have been genuinely addressed. The affordable housing provision, at 80 % of market price, is simply not affordable and in any case unlikely to be fully delivered as other…

LPR representations on Local Plan

Dear All,

The Lewes District Local Plan is about to be examined in public by a planning inspector. The examination lasts two weeks, starting on 20 January, and takes place in the East Platinum Lounge (you couldn’t make it up!) at the Amex Stadium.

The plan for North Street is will be looked at on Thursday 22 January, from 9.30am. Everyone is welcome to attend. Lewes Phoenix Rising (LPR) will be represented in the discussion, led by the inspector, about the policy for North Street and Eastgate.

Our position is set out in the attached statement and appendices. We believe that we have strong arguments to over-turn the existing policy which will in turn severely hamper the Santon/LDC planning application.

This is the first part of our strategy for 2015 to challenge the current approach to the Phoenix Estate. The team is now working on the rest of our plans for this year, which we will let you know about in the next week or so.

Happy New Year to everyone and, as ever, thank you for your continued support and encouragement.

The LPR Team

Download the LPR Representations – 655KB PDF File

Download the LPR Appendix to the Representations – 2.1MB PDF FIle

Newsletter – Important Update from Lewes Phoenix Rising

Dear All,

 The LPR Roadshow was buzzing. Around 700 people came to see and comment on the display at Lewes House, Nevill, Landport, Malling and the Linklater Pavilion. On show, we had the Masterplan for the site and campaign film, both of which you can see on our website.

In addition there was a 10 minute animated fly-through of the site, industrial heritage display, business and interconnections surveys, eco-approach display, 3D model of the Phoenix Ironworks showing the heritage roof structures, buildings and the live/work micro homes, plus visuals of innovative affordable housing for visitors to choose their preferences.

We’d like to thank everyone for taking the time to fill in the feedback forms with their encouraging support and valued suggestions. We will put the results on the website in the New Year, along with the additional materials on display at the Roadshow.

The Masterplan clearly demonstrates that by building close-knit homes in keeping with our historic town centre and thus creating a more neighbourly environment, that all the housing required by policy (390) can be built on the site, plus an additional 48 genuinely affordable homes at social rents and the buildings of the Phoenix Ironworks can be preserved and renovated to provide substantial affordable space for businesses and enterprises.

Regrettably, neither the developer (Santon) nor Lewes District Council (with the exception of some very supportive Councillors) have responded to the Masterplan. This despite their request in May that we would need to show them how to achieve the above, if they were to engage with us. They have however invited us to discuss a small element of the scheme: the provision of ‘creative’ workspace.

Santon will be displaying their revised plans for the site, the first consultation since March, on December the 22nd to Town Councillors and the Steering Group of the Neighbourhood Plan (of which we are members). We will be looking for:

    •    substantial and suitable provision of affordable space for workshops, businesses and community enterprises (there are at present 50 odd businesses and 450 jobs on the Phoenix estate);

    •    substantial provision of genuinely affordable housing;

    •    preservation of the heritage buildings and structures of the old Phoenix Ironworks;

    •    genuine partnership and consultation with the community on the development of the site;

    •    a forward-thinking development focusing on economic and social diversity, environmental sustainability and a vision that serves the current need and that of future generations.

We will get back to you in the New Year with our analysis of their revised plan and our next steps if their plan is not sufficient.

Meanwhile, the Local Plan for the area goes to examination in public by a planning inspector in January. LPR has made representations as we do not believe the plan is sound due to the omission of current industry and heritage buildings (we believe it should be a mixed-use site, not primarily residential). If you wish to attend the examination, the policy for North Street is being considered on 22 January from 9.30am.  The meeting is being held in the East Platinum Lounge of the Amex Stadium, Falmer, Brighton BN1 9BL.

LPR has applied for an emergency preservation order on the old Phoenix Ironworks buildings and structures to enable an investigation of their heritage status.

LPR has prepared applications for some of the enterprises on site to be registered as Assets of Community Value (for submission in January).

The Lewes Phoenix Rising Proposal & Roadshow for the North Street Quarter

Dear All, Coming soon! The Lewes Phoenix Rising Proposal & Roadshow As you’ll know, Lewes Phoenix Rising was asked in August by Santon and Lewes District Council (LDC) to produce a full masterplan, plus costings and a cashflow model, for our alternative development plan for the North St/Phoenix area. The Lewes Phoenix Rising team and…

September Update on The Phoenix Rising Estate proposal

Dear All, Lewes Phoenix Rising is now developing its proposals at the request of Lewes District Council and Santon. We have previously provided them with our outline development plan and costings model. They have now asked for our fully-costed plans and cash flow, in terms of how we intend to fund and deliver a viable…

Sussex Express – Phoenix Estate in Lewes blighted by uncertainty

Article in Sussex Express on the Phoenix Estate / North Street Qtr. Phoenix Estate in Lewes blighted by uncertainty – Sussex Express Full article Mr Baker said: “Today I saw an array of wild creativity and innovation. The area is a hive of productive activity, providing work space and venues for artisans, manufacturing, community and educational…

Press Statement from Norman Baker MP Regarding Phoenix Estate

Lewes MP meets businesses set to be displaced by one of the largest developments in Lewes Norman Baker Lib Dem MP for Lewes, visited the Phoenix Estate, North Street in Lewes to see for himself the workshops that are under threat from proposed development. In all, there are over 50 small and medium size businesses…

Lewes Phoenix Rising meeting with LDC/Santon

On Thursday 17th July, the Lewes Phoenix Rising (LPR) team met with members of the Lewes District Council and Clive Wilding of Santon.  The purpose of the meeting was to present our proposals and discuss how we can work together.  The meeting was followed by a tour of the industries and enterprises on the Phoenix estate.…

Updated survey of Phoenix Estate July 2014

All businesses surveyed, with exception of those to South of Phoenix Place : CA Car Parts, Coach Company, Wenban Smith and Gosnells, Soap Factory (and Storage Containers, North St). 2 of these are intending to relocate to Malling Brooks (Wenban Smith, Gosnells) Total: 50 businesses on remainder of site. 7 Centres for the Arts, comprising…